Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal's (r.a.) 'Aqidah is Free of Tajsim & Tashbih

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali (r.a.) wrote in his Dhaf Shubah at-Tashbih, “The obligation upon us is to believe that the Essence of Allah Ta’ala is not contained in a place, and He is neither attributed with change nor movement.”  Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) also wrote, “Some people lied when they heard about the Swifat and interpreted them according to the physical meanings, such as those who claimed that Allah literally descends from the sky and moves from one place to another.  This is a misunderstanding, because the one who moves would be from a place to a place, and that necessitates that the place is bigger than him and that requires movement, and all of that is impossible to be attributed to Allah the Exalted.”

Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) is a noted mufassirin, and one of the great a’immah of the Hanbali madzhab.  His Dhaf Shubah at-Tashbih refuted the mushabbihah, those who attributed a body to Allah (s.w.t.), and the mujassimah, those who likened Allah (s.w.t.) to Creation.  He also rejected their attachment to the Hanbali madzhab as false and misleading.  He exonerated Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) and the salaf from the beliefs of tajsim, attributing a body to Allah (s.w.t.), and tashbih, likening Allah (s.w.t.) to Creations.  He reiterated that the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) Atsari ‘aqidah believed that Allah (s.w.t.) is not constrained by place, space, size, shape, limit, body, sitting, standing, settling, and other attributes of Creations.  This is in contrast with the neo-Atsari ‘aqidah of the Wahhabi sect which is shirk and a bid’ah.

Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) confirmed in his al-Fatawa al-Haditsiyyah, that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) believed, as do all the a’immah of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, that Allah (s.w.t.) is free from being a body, or having a limit, size, shape, place or direction.  He wrote, “The ‘aqidah of the Imam of the Ahl as-Sunnah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, complies with the ‘aqidah of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah in exceptionally clearing Allah completely from what the ungrateful wrongdoers did by attributing to Allah non-befitting attributes such direction and body and other attributes of imperfection, in fact any attribute that does not have complete perfection.  And what became popular between the ignorant people who falsely claim to follow this great imam al-mujtahid, that he attributed the direction to Allah or such, this is a lie and a false accusation to him.”


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